New Posts

Frog or Toad

Frog or Toad 9/25/18


Can you tell if this is a frog or a toad? Try to make a guess below! If you need some tips read this. Also if you want to know what exactly are the differences between frogs and toads, read this! Answer will be posted tomorrow!

Other Amphibian of the Week

Idaho Giant Salamander (Dicamptodon aterrimus)

Idaho Giant Salamander
by Robert Arkle

Common Name: Idaho Giant Salamander
Scientific Name:Dicamptodon aterrimus
Family: Dicamptodontidae
Location: United States – Idaho and Montana
Size: 13 inches

The Idaho Giant Salamander is a fairly large terrestrial salamander found in the Rocky Mountains under rocks and logs. They are capable of climbing up vegetation as much as 8 feet. They are found near streams where they breed. Breeding takes place in both fall and spring. Females lay around 100 to 200 eggs and stay with the eggs to protect them until they hatch.

Frog of the Week, Uncategorized

Plains Spadefoot Toad (Spea bombifrons)

photo by John P Clare

Common Name: Plains Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Spea bombifrons
Family: Scaphiopodidae
Locations: Canada, Mexico, United States
US Locations: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming
Size: around 2.5 inches

The Plains Spadefoot Toad is a secretive toad. It spends most of its time underground only to come up to breed or to feed. They are also nocturnal so its even less likely that you will see them. The Plains Spadefoot Toad is a great burrower because of keratonized sheaths called spades on its rear feet. These help them dig easier. To escape freezing during winter, they even dig below the frost line to survive.

Other Amphibian of the Week

Gulf Coast Waterdog (Necturus beyeri)

photo by Brad M. Glorioso

Common Name: Gulf Coast Waterdog
Scientific Name: Necturus beyeri
Family: Proteidae
Location: United States – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi
Size: 8.6 inches or 22 cm

The Gulf Coast Waterdog is an aquatic salamander found in the southeastern United States. They retain their gills throughout their lives because they lack lungs. Mating happens during late fall and winter. Not a lot is known about their lifestyles because of their secretive aquatic lifestyle.

Frog of the Week

Ornate Chorus Frog (Pseudacris ornata)

photo by USGS

Common Name: Ornate Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris ornata
Family: Hylidae
Location: Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Louisiana.
Size: 1.5 inches or 36 mm

The Ornate Chorus Frog are small colorful frogs found in the southeastern United States. They can vary in color from gray, green, and reddish brown. They can breed from November to March, depending on rains and temperature, in temporary bodies of water. The Ornate Chorus Frog has a short lifespan, they generally only survive two breeding seasons.

Other Amphibian of the Week

Gold Striped Salamander (Chioglossa lusitanica)

photo by wikiuser Drow male

Common Name: Gold Striped Salamander
Scientific Name: Chioglossa lusitanica
Family: Salamandridae
Location: Spain and Portugal
Size: 6.5 inches or 164 mm

The Gold Striped Salamander is found in the northwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula. Mating takes place mainly during fall but the salamanders in the northwestern part of the range breed during spring. Females only lay up to 20 eggs at a time. The Golden Striped Salamander is terrestrial (lives on land) and nocturnal (active at night). The salamander has two cool superpowers. Their tongue can shoot out almost a third of an inch, allowing them to capture prey easier. They can also drop their tall if in trouble from a predator and the tail will still move minutes after. They can regrow a new tail too.

Frog of the Week

Strawberry Poison Dart Frog (Oophaga pumilio)

photo by Marshal Hedin

Common Name: Strawberry Poison Dart Frog
Scientific Name: Oophaga pumilio
Family: Dendrobatidae
Location: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama
Size: 1 inch

The Strawberry Poison Dart Frog is a colorful frog found in Central America. Because of its beautiful colors, the frog is often found in the pet trade. The bright colors of their skin is a sign to predators that they are toxic and should not be eaten. The Strawberry Poison Dart Frog accumulates its poison from its natural diet, so captive bred individuals are not poisonous. Females are also prefer to mate with brighter colored males. Both males and female Strawberry Poison Dart Frogs perform parental care. Males protect the egg clutches and keep them moist while the females carry the tadpoles after they hatch from the ground to water filled axils of bromeliads. The females also lay unfertilized eggs for the tadpoles to eat.

Other Amphibian of the Week

Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii)

photo by Marshal Hedin

Common Name: Ensatina
Scientific Name: Ensatina eschscholtzii
Family: Plethodontidae
Location: United States, Canada, and Mexico
US Location: California, Oregon, and Washington
Size: 5 inches or 145 mm total length

The Ensatina Salamander is a complex of usually 7 different subspecies of salamanders found along the western coast of North America. They are referred to as a ring species or Rassenkreis, which is a series of connected populations that can interbreed with the close populations but can’t with the farther out populations.

photo by Thomas J. Devitt, Stuart J.E. Baird and Craig Moritz, 2011.
Source: (2011). “Asymmetric reproductive isolation between terminal forms of the salamander ring species Ensatina eschscholtzii revealed by fine-scale genetic analysis of a hybrid zone”. BMC Evolutionary Biology 11 (1): 245. 

The Ensatinas are terrestrial salamanders that are direct developing meaning their eggs hatch into small salamanders instead of tadpoles. Female salamanders usually lay around 10 to 15 eggs at a time on the ground. Breeding season in fall and spring but also happens during the winter too.

Frog of the Week

Blue Legged Mantella (Mantella expectata)

photo by Franco Andreone

Common Name: Blue Legged Mantella, Expected Mantella, Tular Mantella
Scientific Name: Mantella expectata
Family: Mantellidae
Location: Madagascar
Size: 1 inch

The Blue Legged Mantella is found in the southern part of Madagascar in seasonal streams and wet canyons. The main threat to the frogs is the destruction of their habitat for grazing of cattle. Sapphire mining is also a threat in some areas. The Blue Legged Mantella is also found in the pet trade but people have had success breeding them in captivity.

Other Amphibian of the Week

Marbled Salamander (Ambystoma opacum)

photo by Brian Gratwicke

Common Name: Marbled Salamander
Scientific Name: Ambystoma opacum
Family: Ambystomatidae
Location: United States
US Location: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia
Size: 4 inches


The Marbled Salamander is found throughout most of the eastern United States. They are mainly fossorial, spending most of their time underground. They do come to the surface during the fall to breed. They travel to breeding sites near depressions in the ground. The female lays their eggs under surface material. Eventually, the rain washes the eggs into the depression and it fills up with water. The female and male have different colors. The male’s stripes are white while the female’s are gray or silver.